The use of palm oil for EU biofuels dwarfs the amount used to make cookies, hazelnut spreads, ice cream, shampoo, lipsticks – and other food and cosmetic products. That’s according to new industry data which shows diesel cars and trucks burned 51% of all the palm oil used in Europe in 2017.
The European Parliament will vote next week on whether to strengthen the proposal for Europe’s key climate law, the so-called Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) – or ‘Climate Action Regulation’, the name agreed by the environment committee. MEPs will be asked to back a more ambitious starting point than the European Commission’s proposal and to close some loopholes to ensure member states actually reduce their emissions.
The mayor of London and representatives of other British cities have called for a ban on sales of petrol and diesel cars to be introduced in 2030 – 10 years earlier than the earlier announcement by the UK government. Their call comes as a court in Germany has ruled that banning diesels from a historic city is a legitimate way to combat air pollution, and Milan has taken the first step towards banning diesels from the city by 2025.
Some 97% of Spain’s population is being exposed to harmful levels of air pollution, a report by T&E’s Spanish member Ecologistas en Acción shows. The economic recovery has brought an increase in the use of diesel for cars, airplane jet fuel, and coal to generate electricity. The main source of pollution in urban areas, where most of the population lives, is road traffic.
Almost all carmakers will comply with the EU’s 2021 CO2 emissions reduction targets – despite the auto industry’s claims to the contrary, a new analysis by T&E has found. All European carmakers – with the exception of Fiat, Hyundai and Honda – will only need to sell small numbers of plug-in vehicles in order to achieve their targets, with most only needing to make moderate use of flexibilities in the car CO2 regulation to avoid fines.
Germany’s highest civil court has confirmed that city councils have the right to ban dirty diesel cars from city centres to bring air pollution down to legally required limits. In a landmark double-ruling on 27 February, the Federal Administrative Court (BVG) said cities are entitled to ban the most polluting engines, in fact they must do so if that is the most effective measure to reduce pollutants, particularly nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
There are growing calls for a green tax shift to the transport sector, which would help fill a gap in the EU’s budget after the UK leaves. A T&E analysis has found new measures such as a carbon tax on motor fuels, aviation kerosene duty, and ending the VAT exemption for flights within and from Europe would raise more than €50 billion annually. And last week, as EU leaders discussed the looming gap, 17 eminent economists rowed in behind the idea, calling it a ‘once in a decade opportunity’ to create a fossil-fuel contribution to the EU budget.
Moving from fossil-fuel powered vehicles to ones driven by renewable energy will create 206,000 net additional jobs in Europe by 2030, a new study has found. The shift to zero-emission vehicles will drive an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.2% a year in the EU and slash the bloc’s oil imports by €49 billion in 2030, according to the analysis by Cambridge Econometrics for the European Climate Foundation.
Small electric vans now cost the same to own as diesel vans – but there simply aren’t enough of them available to bring about the improvements in air pollution and reduced CO2 emissions that the technology allows for. That is the conclusion of a study for T&E which highlights how the EU’s reluctance to adequately regulate the vans’ emissions and use is now slowing emissions reductions.